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Superintendent's Experience: A healthy community celebrates its children

Coming up on the end of my first school year, I remain excited about being the Superintendent of Edina Public Schools. I have found the students, teachers, parents, and community leaders in Edina to be supportive, passionate, caring and fun. I have had the opportunity to observe students engaged with their teachers, peers, parents and community members. As with all children, their inquiry during learning delights me - they ask such amazing questions! And while our students’ ACT scores show high levels of achievement, there is so much other evidence of student achievement in Edina. Our students obviously excel in academics, but their amazing performances in drama, robotics, art, music, debate, government, community involvement (and the list goes on…) also demonstrate their plentiful accomplishments in activities and the arts, and a diverse and deep array of interests.

Educating these talented children is an incredible staff of professionals. Every day in every school, Edina educators teach students from many backgrounds and cultures, each with unique skills, interests and ideas. Edina educators are adept at balancing curriculum and instruction with the many perspectives students bring to their learning experiences. It is apparent that Edina educators also go above and beyond teaching content and skills as they lead our students in a variety of activities and clubs. I am impressed with Edina educators’ ability to personalize activities in and out of the classroom, keeping the needs and interests of their individual students in mind.

The care and love Edina parents and community leaders have for their own kids spills over to all of the kids in Edina. Countless people in this community provide resources to our kids and their families. Many parents humbly provide this assistance behind the scenes and their impact is felt by numerous families and children. Reflecting back to last fall, I also want to thank the Edina community for their passage of the operating levy referendum. This shows that citizens of this community support their schools. Edina parents and community leaders go beyond thinking critically about their schools - they offer solutions, resources and time to the challenges schools face every day.

Most of all, I have had the opportunity to attend many events that show off the pride Edina has in its children and schools. A sign of a healthy community is one that celebrates its children. In Edina there is a lot to celebrate, and Edina is definitely healthy! Edina students are continually recognized - deservedly so - for their many achievements and interests. These recognition events also give parents the opportunity to show their delight in their kids. It is a great honor to be part of these traditions! I am privileged to be part of the leadership team of the Edina Public Schools, and a partner with all of the community members who entrust us with their children and who serve this wonderful community.

This story was originally published in the spring issue of Experience EPS during the 2017-18 school year, which was mailed to the community in May 2018.